The first time I had orange chicken was my first trip to USA during my days as a trolley dolly. I ordered it as it was something different, something that isn’t common in Asia. We have the commonly found Lemon Chicken, but using Oranges as a glaze sound really interesting to me then! It was surprisingly nice! I liked that sweet, savoury, and tangy sauce that glazed the crispy deep fried chicken pieces. After a couple more visit to western countries, I realised that Chinese restaurant/ food court vendors sells very very similar food! Deep fried pieces of meat, with either some red sauce (sweet & sour), oyster, orange sauce, or lemon sauce. Another popular dish I kept seeing was ‘Singapore Fried Noodles’, that got me really confused simply because there is no such dish in Singapore! Maybe just maybe… it’s a direct translation of 星洲米粉, but I’m not convinced because it looked and tasted different. How did I deviated to here?!
Back to Orange Chicken. I made these to be healthier, without the need to deep fry the chicken pieces. It was lightly coated in flour and pan fried to get a nice crust, and to seal in the juices before sending it to the crock-pot. After 2.5 hours of slow cooking it, they were tender on the inside with great citrusy flavour bursting with every bite. You can choose to cook it with red pepper flakes or sprinkle it on top as a garnish after it’s cooked. I did the latter because that way, I can portion out some for my girls who is not trained to eat spicy food yet. Just one note about the ingredients listed. If you are from the states, I realised that 1 chicken breast is the size of 2 chicken breasts here in Singapore. So please do make appropriate adjustments. 🙂 Here is how to make it.
Ingredients (Serves 3-4)
- 4 chicken breasts, 1 inch cubes
- Zest of 1 orange
- Juice of 2 navel orange
- 1/4 cup light soy sauce
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp corn starch/flour
- Corn starch slurry (1 tbsp corn flour + 1 tbsp water)
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- 2-3 tbsp veg oil
- Red chilli flakes to taste
- Chopped parsley to garnish
Coat chicken with 2 tbsp of corn flour.
In a bowl or measuring cup, add orange juice, zest, soy sauce, sesame oil, black pepper, and garlic.
Heat pan on med high with veg oil.
When oil is hot, brown chicken on both sides, about a 1 min each side.
It doesn’t have to be cooked through.
You may have to do that in a few batches, do not over crowd pan.
Transfer browned chicken to crockpot.
Pour orange mixture over chicken.
Cook for 2.5 hours on high.
5-10 mins before cook time is up, season with salt if needed.
Thicken sauce with corn starch slurry.
Garnish with chopped parsley and red chilli flakes.